The Good Book: Acts, chapters 28-49 – Pericles of Athens

As much as Grayling’s philhellenia was on display up until now in the Good Book, all prior entries must take a backseat to his man-crush on Pericles of Athens. Combining this with Grayling’s infatuation with his own knowledge leads to some of his most self-congratulatory passages yet.

Grayling’s account of the life of Pericles makes constant reference to assorted writers of antiquity who wrote about Pericles, mostly for the purpose of disagreeing with them when they say nasty things about his hero.

Grayling also displays his accustomed lack of irony, pompously criticising those who dared to criticise Pericles for his pomposity without any trace of self-awareness. It would be disturbing if the Good Book were not so obviously a triviality, an academic writing for a tiny audience of other academics and no one else.